The Flavor? Balance.
It seems everyone is struggling to find balance with their computer use.
I seem to be reading a lot of 'To Facebook or not to Facebook'? 'To blog or not to blog'?
And the big conclusion seems to be...
"I must give up being on the computer because it is affecting how I serve my family... my children."
And to that conclusion, I cry out a great, big,
Now, keep in mind, this post is directed at Believers-- those that have accepted, by faith, the gift of salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ through the work that He did on the Cross AND have been baptized by the Holy Spirit (and desire to live in obedience to the Spirit-- for your good and God's glory).
Okay, resuming post...
Since when do we "serve" our families? Husbands? Children?
I serve God.
By serving God, I, in service to Him, care for my family, my husband, my children.
But they are not my Master.
I'm with James, who wrote, "James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ..."
Can computer use get out of hand? Absolutely!
It gets out of hand when I "serve" the god (little 'g') of the internet.
But realize this: Anything,
or any person,
can become an idol... even our own families.
How do we know we are serving something or someone rather than serving God?
Walking moment by moment each day, led by the Spirit of God, should be marked by a few things.
(This isn't even close to being an exhaustive list, but you'll get the general idea.)
• God will never lead us to do something that He forbids or warns against in His Word.
So, how will we know? Our life, as a confessing believer, should be marked by the careful reading, studying, and practicing (not just a hearer, but a doer) of the Word of God. If we do not know, for ourselves, what the Word of God says, how will we not be led astray?
The Holy Spirit will convict (not condemn) our hearts when we think or act of anything that isn't of God, that isn't "good, right, and true."
• Our life should be marked with peace.
The decisions we make should be by the counsel of God and in submission to His will-- not above our own will, but replacing our will. Like Jesus, our will should be to do the will of the Father.
How do we know His will isn't preeminent in our life? We will say things like, "I should be..., I could never..., etc..."
God freely gives wisdom. In Him, we have power.
Wisdom to do our desire and power to carry out sin? No.
Wisdom to discern His will and power to carry it out.
God speaks... we do respond. We either respond in obedience or we respond in disobedience (no matter how aggressive or passive it looks)-- there is no in between.
• How We Do What We Do Will Reflect His Nature
God describes Himself as merciful, long-suffering, abounding in lovingkindness.
Jesus says He is gentle and meek.
The Apostles exhort us to clothe ourselves..
to "put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;"
When we are living in the very center of God's will, we practice being clothed with these beautiful garments.
And garments of praise...
And of thanksgiving.
How will we know we probably aren't in the center of His will?
When we haven't chosen to "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:"
His desire for us? "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Now before we all go sulky off thinking we are terrible people (is it just me that tends to swing in extremes??), any hoo, don't forget God's description:
Abounding in lovingkindness
He is faithful to complete the work He started-- conforming us to the image of His Son.
When we are wayward and not where we should be, God isn't "mad at us" and breathing heavy breaths and muttering (like we sometimes do when our children disobey).
He is the Good Shepherd. He gently leads us back to where we should be.
When I start spending too much time on the computer and it stops being a tool and becomes my taskmaster, funny thing, I can't get an internet connection. Very "randomly" it just stops. I have learned over the past two years, this is the gentle way God gets my attention.
However, when I don't respond to the gentle correction, sitting at the computer makes my neck hurt and my fingers tingle. Oops. I can look back and see that He has been trying to get my attention.
I confess. I repent. I go on a computer fast to break the habit. I sit at His feet and let Him lead me.
So, what is my point? I guess my point is this: that each of us need to be led (and chose to follow) the leading of God in every area and especially this area of computer use.
Just because there are some bloggers that have closed comments doesn't mean that yours needs to be closed.
However, if you "live" for comments and are elated with many and crushed by none, then perhaps you will feel a gentle tap on your spirit to close them and practice letting your work be done, in faithfulness, to God alone.
There are bloggers that struggle with commenting back. Are you worried what "they" will think of you in your silence? Perhaps the Lord will direct you to leave comments open so you can practice responding to the comments He leads you to and letting go of a misplaced sense of responsibility for the rest.
Want to know the funny thing about this "comment" thing? On my Pause and Ponder site, I have enabled the "comments" field. I have checked and re-checked. I know my way around Blogger like the back of my hand. Yet, when on the "Home" page, the comments field isn't visible. It shows up in any individual post, but even then, it's not obvious.
God knows, and He is faithful, to guard my little approval-seeking heart.
He is gently, yet purposefully, leading me to follow Him in faith, regardless if I receive human affirmation or not.
Why? Because He knows that when I trust or hope in people I will be disappointed. Disappointment easily becomes irritation and irritation, well, let's just say it doesn't lead to love.
God wants me to grow in love for the people that He loves so very, very much.
I took myself off Facebook for a season, because it was a stumbling block for me. I found myself being irritated and judgmental of people... simple sinners like myself.
In my time away, I asked Him to do a work in my heart... make it more like His.
I keep my newsfeed list very small. I only see the posts of those that encourage me, make me laugh, or share useful information. But, I don't "Un-Friend" those that think differently or live differently. I hope and I pray that my life, should they choose to read about it, will see a glimmer of His life in me and be drawn to Him.
I blog when I can about what I can... by His leading and with His counsel.
Is the majority of my time spent taking care of the family God has given me? Yes.
Are there times, however, when He leads me to minister to someone through an email and my children have to wait? Yes.
Yes, but it isn't very often and it is always bathed with peace. I can peacefully and honestly say that I am tending to something important and that I will be with them shortly.
When I am serving the "computer" and my flesh and I'm out of line, an "interruption" by my children is met with a grumbled, grouchy, "What?"
Then, I am convicted... not condemned.
I am reminded...
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty;
do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh,
I practice once more walking by His leading, taking His hands, marked permanently by His love and forgiveness, and allowing Him to lead me...
and towards Him.
I pray for myself and all my sisters that we would hear Your voice and allow You to lead us. Give us wisdom in all things and grow us in Your love. Thank You for not leaving us to "try and find balance" in our own effort, strength, and mind. Thank You that You instead led us and simply ask us to follow You. May we do us in humbleness of heart and, by faith, covered by Your blood.